Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter
From 19 April 2004 Issue
PAWPRINTS, FOOTPRINTS & ANIMAL CHATTER
By Judith Marie Gansen
Does the Bush Administration Practice the Tenets of Christianity?
I believe there is a power greater than all of us which is why I am a person of faith. I also believe in doing good and in trying to make the world a better place. I am not a religion expert nor am I perfect, but some thoughts come to mind concerning our current President in relationship to scripture. Perhaps my words will be food for thought for some Christians especially when they go to vote in November. I have mentioned before we need to break the stranglehold that some churches have on their members. Since when should a church tell us how to vote? They are legal non-profits and therefore not supposed to get involved in political issues. I believe that God gave us a brain along with the ability to reason and question and think and search--not for us to be a puppet who allows others to do our thinking for us. The Bible warns us against false prophets and it is our responsibility to know who they are so we don't follow them and a false prophet may be a church leader--believe me I know--I worked for one as a church secretary unfortunately.
Ordinarily, I would say that a person's religion or lack of religion is a personal choice and no one's business--Freedom of Religion is one of our most precious Constitutional amendments. But in the case of a President--especially one like President Bush who is proclaimed as being a "model" for conservative religion and "moral values" and who seems to allow the Far Religious Right to dictate many of his policy decisions, I feel it is appropriate to discuss in any public forum.
A President is held up to more scrutiny than other people in public office--no other job affects lives more in the U.S. or the world. Presidents appoint justices of the Supreme Court for a lifetime term as well as other Federal positions (which affect our lives and the lives of animals). Presidents have the power to veto or sign into law bills from Congress---bills that affect EVERYONE including animals. Laws that control how safely your food is processed, your healthcare, immigration, and just about everything you do. How can people still say they don't vote?? If you are fearful of leaving the house (have a phobia) then ask for an absentee ballot to be mailed to you. Take the day off of work to vote if you can. EVERY vote counts! No one running for public office is perfect but one candidate is always better than another--it's up to us to find the truth especially since all of mainstream media is now owned by large corporations. Real investigative journalism has suffered because of this sadly.
The President is Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and while his ability to wage war is somewhat limited (or was until President Bush came into office along with the events of 9/ll), the President holds the power of life and death in his or her hands. Therefore, a President's words and deeds--their very integrity matters so much. And where does a person's integrity come from if not from their religion?
Some comparisons I came up with--I have seen others:
1. "Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor" (9th Commandment) - the Far Right Bush administration along with their Far Right buddies have been quoted as saying teachers are terrorists, animal advocates and environmentalists are terrorists (the only terrorist act I have ever committed was trying new recipes on my husband!)--anyone who apparently disagrees with their agenda or tries to separate a business from its profit margin are either called terrorists or unpatriotic.
2. "Lips free of deceit" Psalm 17:1 (NRSV)* - Presidential candidate Bush ran as a Republican moderate but after the election by his actions showed he was really a Far Right Conservative heavily influenced by the fanatical Religious Right and the NRA. Also, a Nightline show done some months ago discussed whether the invasion of Iraq was planned prior to the President even taking office by a far right- wing group! Yet, the justification for the invasion of Iraq was sold to the American public that we needed to fight terrorism after 9/11.
3. "Love they neighbor as thyself" - the loss of jobs in the U.S. is frightening. President Bush recently was quoted as saying there is nothing wrong with outsourcing jobs (sending U.S. jobs to other countries). I guess that works for President Bush and his very rich buddies who have accumulated a vast "war chest" for his re-election campaign and hold much wealth personally. Plus I doubt they will ever have to worry about standing in an unemployment line or whether their children have adequate healthcare or the elderly in their families need to choose between food or their medicine!
4. "Leadership Integrity, Numbers 16:15; 1 Samuel 12:1-5* - the administration fought the idea of having a 9/11 investigation commission but through the efforts of brave family members who lost loved ones, we now have one. Unbelievable that they even needed to fight for the commission to begin with! Bush originally agreed to testify for one hour only and after much public pressure, agreed to a little more but only in front of the Chair and Vice Chair. Even after many discrepancies have been uncovered, such arrogance was shocking to me. Ms. Rice recently testified but only after intense pressure. Is this America or am I in a bad dream? It is imperative that we know the facts prior to 9/11 so we don't repeat the same mistakes in the future!
5. "Thou Shalt Not Covet They Neighbor's Goods" (10th Commandment)- like the oil in Iraq maybe? Of course, gas prices are soaring now anyway thanks to the administration and their big business buddies making huge cars and then marketing them to the public. This makes the public's dependence on consuming gasoline even stronger. Little or no attempt to work on alternative energy systems or even preach conservation of energy! (I always wondered how much energy we could make if all the health spas hooked up to generators and every bicyclist was making energy). But for those who are greedy, solar and wind power are maybe not high enough profits to pursue since the wind and sun are free. They would save the earth for our children but they might cause energy companies to get into that unemployment line or find another way to get rich. See the thought-provoking movie Chain Reaction with Keanu Reeves.
6. "Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees" (Revelation 7:3)- this administration is drilling for oil in sensitive ecosystems (and pushing for more drilling--got to feed those big vehicles!). Even if you drive small cars as my family does, we may be forced to get a larger vehicle due to fear of being annihilated by super size cars and trucks--don't even get me started on how hard it is to pull out of a parking space or from a store. And what about massive logging programs the administration is allowing to "save" forests from forest fires. Please don't insult our intelligence!! Bush is the only president to ever get an "F" grade from environmental groups. Think of the contamination of the air you breathe, the water you drink and the homes for animals destroyed during his first 3 years alone.
7. "Thou shalt not steal" (8th Commandment)- would you call it stealing if they only give a "slap on the wrist" to some big businesses pilfering from retirement plans and 40lk's? You can't allow any entity to police itself because unfortunately where money is concerned the potential is there for corruption.
8. "Judge not lest ye be judged" - It seems ludicrous to me that while people are dying on both sides in Iraq, and we are rightly fighting terrorism elsewhere, have major money problems in this country along with job losses-- that while the subject of whether two people of the same sex want to marry each other and spend their lives together should be discussed, it's hardly something to make a Constitutional amendment about and something we sure as heck should not be spending time and money talking and discussing now. Where are the priorities here? We are told terrorists want to harm us yet we continually hear on the news that our power plants are not secure enough nor are our water supplies, they are cutting funds for law enforcement, etc. Oh, but thank God they are keeping us safe from gay people!! Whew!!!
9. "Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord" - Did President Bush invade Iraq to avenge his father? Saddam Hussein put out a hit on former President Bush, Senior.
10. "Value of One Sparrow," Luke 12:6* - this administration has a blatant disregard for endangered species and animals in general. I read that President Bush accidentally killed an endangered bird while hunting in Texas. He recently went to a rodeo. I wonder if he knows what a bucking strap is or would care if he did?
11. "Every creature of God is good..." 1 Timothy 4:4 - Under the Bush administration more wild horses are being removed from our wild lands to appease the cattle ranchers. If they are lucky, they will find good homes but many are not so lucky ending up being sold for slaughter, abused, etc.
12. (Children) Gift From God, Genesis 48:8-9*, - in order to protect our gift from God, wouldn't it follow that we should protect them in their schools? Yet, our President is an avid NRA guy--the NRA in fact bragged that they would have their own office in the White House once Bush was in. Right now, they are all trying to stop the ban on assault weapons which is up for renewal. Why does anyone who hunts need an AK47? We have the highest murder rate in the world and the most guns of any nation. What kind of people don't want background checks at gun shows knowing there are terrorists in our midst--is that protecting us from terrorists? How unpatriotic is that? I should mention I am not totally against gun ownership which may surprise some but that is because I worked with law enforcement. But do you think Jesus would have been a member of the NRA?
Is it Unpatriotic to Criticize or Not Support a President During Wartime?
Since I have friends who have family in the service in Iraq and our family members who may end up there, this issue was a great concern for me. After 9/11 it was important that we stand together as a nation. My husband and I discussed this at great length--if we criticize our President are we weakening our country somehow? Well, democracies are different in that we CAN criticize as we have Freedom of Speech here. Also I know there are relatives with service people in Iraq who are actively campaigning against the war. If there were not so many scandals and lies coming from our White House then I would say absolutely I support our administration during this difficult time in our history. But at some point after learning of all the deceit, I decided it would be a far worse crime for me to not publicly criticize this administration. It is ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT for an administration to be honest, as open as possible and to publicly explain things to us during a time of conflict when Americans are losing their lives in Iraq. Anything less by a President is simply unconscionable. Instead this administration has arrogance I have never seen before and lies that go deep. Once again, so much for those Christian values!
The religious right's agenda during the Clinton years was to crucify the President and First Lady--Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton (one of the most courageous and intelligent women in the U.S. in my opinion). We spent 42 MILLION dollars to prove that the President was a skirtchaser when we already knew that (70% of sitting presidents have cheated and they were not all Democrats). That was money that SHOULD have been spent on fighting terrorism and may have stopped 9/11!
check out info concerning the National Rifle Association:
www. NRA Leaders.com
Religious sources I referenced:
*Where to Find It in the Bible-the Ultimate A to Z Resource-Ken Anderson
Please Work Hard for Our Next President:
John Kerry for President
519 C Street, NE
Wash. D.C. 20002
People for the American Way
Democratic National Committee
NOTE: Also, before I forget, please checkout Mr. Clarke's new book: Against All Enemies by Richard A. Clarke. He was appointed by Pres. Reagan and served under Pres. Bush, Sr. and Pres. Clinton and is an independent anti-terrorism expert telling the shocking truth about the Bush administration.
Some very frightening and what appears to be well-researched information sites:
The Carlyle Group - Former World Leaders and Washington Insiders Make Billions or http://www.hereinreality.com/carlyle.html
Axis of Corporate Evil or http://www.hereinreality.com/news/axis.html
'The Lies of George W. Bush' by David Corn or http://www.bushlies.com/
I believe our country is in serious trouble and I don't mean only from terrorists. PLEASE help our servicepeople, our country, our children and the animals and volunteer to help get John Kerry elected. Especially send as much as you can--even if it is only $10--money wins elections sadly and every dollar counts. Volunteer to get people out to vote who don't have transportation in November and to be a PRECINCT watcher to be sure that the votes for Democrats get counted. I hate to say this but cheating can occur. Have a bake sale or garage sale for Kerry. Get people registered to vote. Never before in our history has so much been at stake in a Presidential election. With our current international policies, I pray we are not sowing the seeds for WWIII.
Making a difference:
1. www.Moveon.org or http://www.moveon.org/front/
2. www.FactCheck.org or FactCheck.org Bush accuses Kerry of 350 votes for “higher taxes” Higher than wh
FactCheck.org - Annenberg Political Fact Check
3. Working Assets or Working Assets Products & Services
5. www.democracynow.org or Democracy Now!: radio and TV news
Staff: Animals in Print (free online animal publication)
Pawprints, Footprints & Animal Chatter are my editorials on animal issues--if you email me please indicate in the subject column it is about one of my articles so it doesn't get deleted as spam--thanks!)
"We exist to educate and through compassion and knowledge improve the lives of all beings."
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